Pop quiz! When’s the best time to assess your need for financing in 2014 and to take the necessary steps to prepare?
(a) After first quarter.
(b) Before you actually need it.
(c) When you notice your account balances rapidly dwindling.
If you said “b,” you’re definitely on the right track. Planning ahead for financing, if and when you can, will definitively put you ahead of the curve. But there are a lot of different reasons for needing business financing, including some that are unplanned.
Capital for growth
One of the best (and most anticipatable) reasons for getting financing is to further the growth of your business. To assess the capital you’re going to need next year, start with your business plan. What strategies and objectives have you mapped out for achieving your growth objectives? Some of the most common:
- Expanding or upgrading your space
- Purchasing new equipment
- Buying another business
- Adding new products or significantly increasing inventory
Not sure if getting financing is the right step to take? The key is whether or not it will help move your business forward. It’s true that to make money, you need to spend money—but wisely. Financing that can be tied directly to specific business goals and consequently, helps propel the growth of your business, is a smart move.
There are also opportunities that arise unexpectedly and that make good business sense. Even though you often can’t anticipate or plan for these, you can be ready. How? By making the assumption, at the start of every year, that you will need financing at some point to take advantage of one or more opportunities that will fuel your business’s growth. Part of this “preparation mindset” involves keeping your financial house in order (more on this below).
On the other hand, there are reasons to not to get financing. Trying to prop up a failing business is usually one of them. In fact, if you’re having difficulty paying bills and are struggling generally or for a while, getting financing may just dig you into a deeper hole and ultimately, prolong the inevitable.
Other reasons for financing
That’s not to say that there aren’t sound reasons for financing that aren’t directly related to growth. Businesses in many sectors have seasonal fluctuations; working capital can help you weather the lean season. Financing working capital is often done to bridge all kinds of cash flow gaps or to meet unexpected operating challenges, such as an unexpected surge in business that you couldn’t otherwise handle.
Get ready now
Whether your capital needs are planned or unplanned, it’s likely that as a business owner, you will need capital, if not now, then at some point in the future. So, in addition to assessing your potential upcoming needs for capital before you actually need it, there are also steps you can take to be ready when you do find yourself in the position of needing it. Having your ducks in a row ahead of time should help expedite the time it takes for you to actually get funding. Do this:
- Stay current on your financial obligations, like paying vendors.
- Have a business plan that’s updated annually.
- Have your P&L statements and other financial docs readily available.
- Be able to demonstrate a clear plan for how you’re going to use the capital to help grow your business.
- Quantify your projected results from the infusion of cash: How much more revenue do you expect to earn? What percentage of growth do you expect?
We specialize in business financing of $5,000 to $2 million, to help businesses grow and meet the challenges of operating competitively. We offer a quick underwriting process and with an approval for funding in as few as two business days!
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